Best Value Awards: When price is not the main evaluation factor

 

We often receive calls from companies wanting to take legal action against the Government because they lost a contract to a company with a higher price. In these cases, one of the first questions that we must answer is “What were the evaluation criteria stated in the Request for Proposal (RFP)?

In most cases the answer is that the award was made based on the Best Value to the Government. Best Value refers to competitive, negotiated procurements in which the Government reserves the right to select the most advantageous offer to the Government by evaluating and comparing factors in addition to cost or price.  A Best Value procurement enables the Government to purchase technical superiority even if it means paying a premium price. In other words, Best Value procurement looks at factors other than only cost or price, such as past performance, technical approach, quality and expertise, when selecting vendors or contractors.

So, to increase the probabilities of winning the next RFP response you need to understand the agencies requirements, evaluation factor and the pains that they are trying to solve with the RFP. Developing your technical approach is critical because the government wants you to demonstrate a complete understanding of the work statement requirements. Your RFP response must focus on more technical strengths than weaknesses. This is usually confusing for government contractors since many think that they are only required to respond to the stated requirements. As stated before, the best value source selection process looks at your RFP response is to see if it is the most advantageous when compared to your competition.

As your write your next proposal, take a closer look at certain factors that may impact your ability to meet the RFP requirements such as: Overall technical approach, Key personnel and qualifications, Relevant past performance; Management approach; quality control approaches; facilities, and other state RFP requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, providing more detail is better than too little; never assume that the agency knows who you are; and meeting more than the basic solicitation requirements can lead to technical strengths.

The information for this article was gathered from The Best Value Approach, FAR part 15, Best Value Procurement, and Technical Approach Proposal Basics.

If you need assistance with this or any other topic related to federal contracting do not hesitate in contacting us contact us. All our services are free of charge.

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